In a last-minute settlement, Fox News has agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems more than $787 million to end their two-year legal battle, representing the largest publicly known defamation settlement involving a media company in US history. The settlement was announced after the jury was sworn in at the Delaware Superior Court, sparing influential Fox News executives and on-air personalities from testifying about their 2020 election coverage, which was riddled with false claims of voter fraud.
Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News and Fox Corp for $1.6 billion, accusing them of spreading misinformation about the company in the aftermath of the 2020 election. While Fox maintains that they never defamed Dominion and that the case was a meritless assault on First Amendment press freedoms, the settlement represents a win for Dominion and a chance for Fox to avoid further damage to its reputation.
The settlement may also have significant implications for other conservative media outlets and personalities. Smartmatic, another voting technology company, is currently suing Fox News, NewsMax, OANN, Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, and Lou Dobbs for defamation. Additionally, Dominion is still pursuing legal action against NewsMax, OANN, Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Lindell, and Patrick Byrne.
The settlement is also likely to have consequences for Fox News shareholders, who may file suit against directors and officers of Fox Corporation for breaching their fiduciary duties to Fox and its shareholders.
In the end, the lesson to be learned is the importance of honesty and integrity. Attempting to interfere in free and fair elections should come with a heavy cost, and Fox News' settlement with Dominion serves as a reminder of that fact.
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